Hybrid Car Test Drive: The Zen of Hybrid Electric Technology

Zen Garden From wallsave.com

Zen Garden
From wallsave.com

#weekendcoffeeshare 6/10/16

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the story of my first day driving a hybrid car. It took place six years ago at a time when seeing a hybrid car in my neighborhood was relatively rare.

In the crazy, noisy, busy world in which we live, it is difficult to relax, de-stress, and clear our minds. I found a space that could help me do that.

The moment I got in the car and closed the door, I felt like I had entered sanctuary. When I pressed the start button, I did a double take—no motor noise. I put the car in gear and pressed the accelerator only to glide forward silently and weightlessly as if floating on a cloud. The tinted windows added to the effect by giving the feeling that I was in meditation experiencing the nothingness of the Self and oneness with all of creation. What a wonderful feeling!

Then I was suddenly jolted out of my serene state by the sound of horns blowing. I found myself to be a little disoriented like when you wake suddenly from a dream sleep (but I had been fully awake.) The traffic light had changed and the guy behind me had gotten impatient.

I pressed the gas pedal and slowly accelerated to maximize fuel efficiency. Well that didn’t go over well with the cars behind me. Then there was more horn blowing followed by angry faces, the mouthing of unpleasantries that I couldn’t hear, and unseemly gestures from drivers racing past me and cutting in front of me dangerously close to a crash.

On another day, I might have responded in kind—but not today. Perhaps it was ozone from the electric motor or the strong electromagnetic field from the high voltage batteries but I didn’t react and just looked back with a blank stare, puzzled by their misplaced frustration.

By the time all of the cars around me were distant lights in a faraway galaxy, I had reached the speed limit. I felt an inexplicable urge to not go any faster and settled back into my quiet place. Oh how wonderful to be free of stress once more!

Then I saw a car approaching from behind. I expected another round of vitriol but to my surprise the driver pulled up alongside and gave me a thumbs up. This reminded me that by driving a hybrid car I live by the beat of a different drum; that I am on the high road; that I should not allow anyone to disrupt the serenity of my sanctuary; that Zen is possible amidst the stress and cacophony of the world around me.

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19 comments on “Hybrid Car Test Drive: The Zen of Hybrid Electric Technology

  1. Rowena says:

    Sounds like you’re drinking peppermint tea, not double expressos driving that car. Driving your car did sound like a dream but I did wonder how floating along would go out in the traffic. I’d drive into a tree.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    xx Rowena

  2. trentpmcd says:

    Yep, I get it. I’ve been driving a hybrid for about 6 years and now have a plug-in hybrid. I love the feel of 100% electric and can’t wait until I can afford a car than can travel all electric 200+ miles at 65 mph when it is -10 F outside. Looking at the break score makes you feel different about speeding up and slowing down.

    • I’ve been driving Prius for the last six years. Love it. It would be nice to be all-electric with a good range for traveling. The technology certainly exists, but sadly not the infrastructure for charging as yet.

      There’s always Tesla for those who can afford it.

  3. Kathleen Howell says:

    🙂 Very cool experience.. I’ve never driven one but I’ve been around them – amazingly quiet!

    • If one can rise above the need for excessive power and speed, then one might well love a hybrid car. Plus you have the high road of making a statement of social and environmental responsibility.

  4. I drive a hybrid. So glad I made a decision to buy one.

  5. Robin says:

    The stress-free parts sound like a wonderful experience. 🙂

    • Hi Robin. The story hearkens back six years ago when there were very few hybrids on the road in my area. Now they’re commonplace so nonhybrid drivers have adjusted to us and just work around us without any animosity. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the rapid growth in the number of hybrids on the road these days.

  6. I’m looking forward to the day of self-driving hybrids. That will offer a real meditative experience won’t it?!

  7. Nice experience, sounds like a great way to relax

  8. I understand this entirely. I have just bought a Rav4 Hybrid and on the test drive, it was as though freewheeling as there was no sound at all. It is the most peaceful, relaxing car to drive ever. Mine is a 2.5 so does 0-60 in 8 seconds. No slow pull off there if you needed it in an emergency, but who wants to drive off like that normally when in such a peaceful, soothing vehicle? I don;t collect it till March 15th, but can’t wait

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